Saturday, August 2, 2008

the good the bad and the ugly

I went to the opera on Wednesday with my dear friends Rob and Gary. We saw a new opera, "Adriana Mater," which was written by a woman, Kaija Saariaho, and I believe she is from one of the Balkan countries. The opera was about civil war in an unnamed place, but the set design suggested the Middle East. Doesn't sound very appealing I suppose, but aren't all operas about some kind of conflict? It was really wonderful, rather minimal, but quite affecting. As it happened, the husband of the woman who plays Adriana was sitting next to me and he gave us some insight into the structure of the music and the text. They are Finnish and the opera was first produced in Helsinki- this was its American debut.

The Santa Fe opera house is beautiful. It's built into the mountains and is mostly open, like an amphitheater, with a semi-circular overhang. The stage faces the sunset and the operas start just before sunset so you get this almost 180% panorama of the sun going down in the mountains and it's just exquisite. I felt a wave of joy to be there and to witness that in the context of wonderful music and theater.

Rob thought my tiles look like a quilt and I don't want that reference. I made some changes but I'll post about that when I take more photos.

Meanwhile, residents have left and new ones have arrived. Mike packed his truck with his assortment of junk and dead animal parts and headed back to Colorado. I can't imagine anyone whose work and process is more different than mine. He would drive out to the countryside and pick up whatever interested him, or buy things from tag sales. Lots of antlers. He also bought from a county sale a bunch of discarded animal parts- skulls with skin and fur still on them, hoofs, things like that. I found it upsetting to look at (and smell, though I suppose that will eventually subside) but that was part of his intention. Putting them together in an interesting way to make something new, and to expose the beauty in what was discarded and dead. I'm just too much an animal lover to connect with that work, although I did spend some time talking to him about it. He apparently never connected with mine, either, as he never said a word to me about what I was doing. Chaque a son gout. He was interested in creating a visceral response- it was very physical, far different from the cerebral and aesthetic nature of my work.

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